Clare County Council, in its role as the Competent Authority, identified that the Springfield FRS project may have significant effects on The Lower River Shannon Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and/or the River Shannon and River Fergus Estuaries Special Protection Areas (SPA), considering their specific qualifying interests and conservation objectives. Accordingly, a Natura Impact Statement (NIS), was prepared in accordance with the requirements of the European Communities (Birds and Natural Habitats) Regulations 2011, to inform the desicion making.
The NIS found that the Springfield FRS will not give rise to significant effects on the conservation objectives and integrity of the Lower Shannon SAC or on the Features of Interest of the River Shannon and River Fergus Estuaries SPA. The full NIS report, as submitted to An Bord Pleanála under Section 177AE of the Planning Development Act can be found at the link below.
An Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) screening excercise was undertaken to determine if an EIA is required for the Springfield FRS as set out in the mandatory and descretionary provisions of the Planning and Development Act, 2000 and set out in Schedule 5 of the Planning and development Regulations, 2001 - 2015.
The screeing exercise was undertaken in two stages. The first stage considered the requirement for a mandatory EIA, while the second stage considered the requirement or need for a subthreshold EIA.
The report concluded that all possible risks of impact on the environment have been identified in the screening exercise and no significant environmental impacts are anticipated. The report recommended that it was not necessary to proceed with a subthreshold EIA for the Springfield FRS. The full EIA Screeing Report can be found below.